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Can Dementia be Caused by Medications?

Updated on July 27, 2019
Pamela99 profile image

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.

Multiple Pills

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Medication Side Effects

Medications all have some side effects, such as side stomach upset, constipation, dry mouth, and many more depending on the particular medication. I was given Ketamine during back surgery about 3 years ago, and I had a horrible reaction. I had vivid nightmares and when I awoke I believed the nightmares were true. It took about a week for the nightmares to subside.

Hospital delirium can occur for senior citizens as a reaction to the medications. Recently, there was a very large study completed by the University of Nottingham on the link between medications and dementia.

Elderly Woman

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Medical Research on Medications

The University of Nottingham, UK, recently analyzed records for 58,769 participants above age 55 with dementia and 225,574 patients without dementia. The patients with dementia were 63% female, with an average age of 82. They looked for particular drugs that might increase the risk of dementia. The primary medications responsible are from a group called Anticholinergics, which work by inhibiting the chemical messenger known as acetylcholine.

Anticholinergics are a group of medications that block the neurotransmitter’s typical action as a chemical messenger in the brain, which is responsible for transferring signals between cells. These cells affect specific body functions. The medications are typically prescribed for a gastrointestinal problem, an overactive bladder, depression, vertigo and to treat some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Patients with known risk factors, such as alcohol use, cardiovascular problems, and use of other medications, like hypertensive medications, were excluded from the study. Patients who have used anticholinergics daily for 3 years or more have a 50% higher risk of developing dementia.

Anticholinergics and Dementia

Medications That Can Cause Dementia

As stated above, anticholinergics are the worst offenders to cause dementia. These medications block acetylcholine causing involuntary muscle movement in the lungs, urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract and other body areas.

These drugs, with their brand names and function, include:

  • Amitriptyline (several brand names, treats depression)
  • Atropine (for slow heart rate, or to reduce secretions during surgery)
  • Belladonna alkaloids (for irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers in the intestine)
  • Benztropine mesylate (Cogentin, Parkinson’s disease)
  • Bupropion (Chantix, Nicorette, for depression, quitting smoking)
  • Clidinium (Librax, for the stomach)
  • Cyclopentolate (for eye exams)
  • Darifenacin (Enablex, overactive bladder)
  • Dicyclomine (Bentyl, gastrointestinal tract)
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl, antihistamine)
  • Fesoterodine (Toviaz, overactive bladder)
  • Flavoxate (overactive bladder)
  • Glycopyrrolate bromide (treats excessive drooling)
  • Homatropine hydrobromide (for eye exams)
  • Hyoscyamine (numerous brands, for GI problems, Parkinson’s)
  • Ipratropium (Atrovent, for asthma and COPD)
  • Orphenadrine (Norflex, for muscles sprains and strains)
  • Oxybutynin (Ditropan, for overactive bladder)
  • Paroxetine ( Zoloft, Prozac and more, for panic attacks, depression, OCD, PTSD)
  • Propantheline (numerous brand names, for overactive bladder)
  • Scopolamine (prevents nausea and vomiting, used during surgeries)
  • Methscopolamine bromide (treats peptic ulcers)
  • Tizanidine ( Zanaflex, short acting muscle relaxer for spasms)
  • Tiotropium bromide (treats asthma and COPD)
  • Tolterodine (Detrol, for overactive bladder)
  • Trihexyphenidyl (Artane, Parkin, Pacitane, for Parkinson’s disease)
  • Trospium (for overactive bladder)

Another cause of dementia found in research studies is the number of medications an individual takes. There is a 33% chance of dementia for those taking 5 medications daily and a 54% chance of dementia for those taking 10 or more medications. Mild cognitive impairment or delirium should be investigated for individuals taking multiple medications.

Confused Man

Source

Hospital Associated Dementia

Statistically, when patients over the age of 65 are hospitalized hospital delirium may occur for 20% of them. About 80% of patients cared for in the ICU will develop delirium. If delirium is not recognized it will hinder recovery and if left untreated a higher mortality rate may occur. Delirium occurs slowly, but it should clear up in a matter of days or possibly weeks.

Delirium is typically thought of like a hyperactive, agitated state with hallucinations, but delirium related to hospitalization is more often a hypoactive state. Since this delirium is hypoactive it is not often recognized by the medical staff. The patient is withdrawn, drowsy and often difficult to awake. In a study at Vanderbilt, a screening tool was developed to assess patients so the staff will recognize delirium and treat it, usually with the help of family.

Experiencing Delirium after Surgery

Final Conclusions

If you are over 55 and taking one of the medications listed above, talk with your physician to see if there are other options to treat the medical problem.

Factors that contribute to delirium or dementia include: sleep deprivation, dehydration, immobility and vision or hearing loss.

If you see a parent or older loved one exhibiting the signs of dementia, get them to a physician for evaluation. The physician will do blood work, a urinalysis to check for infection, a chest x-ray to look for pneumonia and a neurological assessment to look for stroke symptoms. It is a good idea to get a professional opinion.

Your Medicaions

Do you take any of the Anticholinergics medications listed above?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Pamela Oglesby

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  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Ann, It seem there are always some type of side effect to any medication, but fortunately many aren't too bad. I am glad your partner was able to get an alternative medicine.

    I think it is very good to try and take less medicine and to know the possible side effects. We can't always depend on the doctor to tell us about the side effects, so we have to do some research on our own. I appreciate your very kind comments.

  • annart profile image

    Ann Carr 

    2 weeks ago from SW England

    I know I am late in reading this, Pamela, but it coincides with some discussion my partner and I were having with a doctor the other day. My partner has since stopped taking one of his medicines and has had an alternative prescribed for another. Hopefully, the action will make a difference to uncomfortable symptoms, though fortunately they are not dementia related.

    I often wonder about side-effects and have re-read the information included with my medicines for osteoporosis. I know that for some we have to weigh up the pros and cons but I think others can be stopped altogether, particular the use of pain killers.

    Thanks for such an informative and well-presented article, Pamela.

    Ann

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    3 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Eric, I love it! That is such great news. I wish you the best of heath my friend.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Pamela,

    Just to let you know. Since reading this I have met with 2 professionals and we are tapering my medications. I think a PRN one was on your list.

    Due to you my life is getting better. How cool is that?

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    3 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Maria, I am glad you found this list to share with family and friends. I am concerned with the number of medications that doctors prescribe and wonder how some react with each other. I haven't found any research to address that concern, so far anyway.

    I think of you too and miss the Wednesday emails. I hope all is well with you too.

    Blessings and hugs to you.

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 

    3 weeks ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Dear Pamela,

    Thanks for sharing this staggering list of medications that could lead to dementia. I will be sharing with family, friends, colleagues and students.

    Thinking of you and sending lots of hugs, Maria

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    4 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Alyssa, Since so many people take a lot of medication, I think it is important to know about side effects. I am glad you found the article interesting

    Thank you for your comments.

  • Alyssa Nichol profile image

    Alyssa 

    4 weeks ago from Ohio

    The known side effects of common medications are absolutely scary. I didn't realize some medications could cause dementia before reading your article. This was very interesting!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Dolores, That sounds like the same thing I experienced after an 8 hour back surgery. I was absolutely nuts after receiving Ketamine during surgery (known as a horse tranquilizer).

    I wonder if something like that happened to your mother? I realized after a few days what had happened to me and I started drinking a lot of water to flush out my system. It was really awful.

    I appreciate you sharing your mother's symptoms.

  • Dolores Monet profile image

    Dolores Monet 

    5 weeks ago from East Coast, United States

    When my mother was recovering from surgery, she experienced paranioa and some hallucination. As she recovered the symptoms disappeared but she remembered her fear and how weird it felt. I was surprised that she could recall the confusing thoughts.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi James, I agree. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • James A Watkins profile image

    James A Watkins 

    6 weeks ago from Chicago

    Wow. I sure appreciate this fine article of yours. That is some list of medications there. I am reasonably certain they can cause dementia, and even more sure of psychotropic drugs.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi RTaIloni, I agree that the side effects of many medications are absolutely dangerous at times. I think my list is just the tip of the iceberg on a particular type of medication. Thanks for your comments.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 

    6 weeks ago from the short journey

    Too many side effects of medications in hospitals and other facilities thanks to medications is criminal activity against patients. It is so important to know this information and to share it. Thank you for the post and for opening up a discussion so people can share what they have learned by experience.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Rodric, I take a lot of medicine also, and I am concerned about dementia just like your concern. I am not taking any medicine that is on the list and I hope you are not taking any of them either. I am sorry to hear about your mother. I just lost my mother about 6 weeks ago, but it was heart failure for her.

    Thank you so much for your comments.

  • Rodric29 profile image

    Rodric Anthony 

    7 weeks ago from Peoria, Arizona

    Pamela, this article is informative. I take up to ten medications a day and I have been worried about dementia ever since my mother passed away a year ago. She had vascular dementia most likely due to the stroke she had about 25 years back. I figure if I avoided stroking I would be okay. Now that I am abreast of the multiple medication Possibility, I am going to be more vigilant about possible symptoms of dementia.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Dear Eric, I sure appreciate your comments. I try to thoroughly check all resources to write accurate articles. Thank you.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    7 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Thank you Pamela. For years - years back, I was taking generic advil pm. I was about ready to go back on it. You made me double check. Fantastic -- Do Not Do It!

    Google searching is so sketchy some times. I like good folks like you so much better.

    Thanks again.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Marlene, I'm glad you have the information about Benedryl now. Maybe one of the nasal sprays would help your hay fever or just some other brand of sinus medication. Thank you for your comments.

  • MarleneB profile image

    Marlene Bertrand 

    7 weeks ago from USA

    After reading your article, I find that I have not been paying enough attention to the medications I take. For instance, I take Benadryl for hay fever every day. I had no idea it is a medication that I should be more knowledgeable about.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    The harmful medications seem to be in certain classifications. There are many over-the-counter medications to treat sinus problems, so Benadryl should be easy to replace with pills or nasal sprays.

    As for stomach problems, ask your doctor to prescribe a different medication, such as omeprazole, etc. In addition, there are over-the-counter stomach medications.

    The medications for overactive bladders problems are typically used by women, so there may be an alternative and if not the women will need to use pads or diapers to help women get to the bathroom.

    There are many anti-depressants on the market such as Prozac. discussion with your doctor would always be the best course of action if you are prescribed one of those on the list.

    The drugs for Parkinson's disease may be a greater problem as I don't know exactly what might replace those listed for that disease. I hope this answers your question, Eric.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    7 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Do you have suggested alternatives if someone is on any of these medications?

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Ms Dora, The answer may be yes, and I agree that it is our responsibility to search for alternatives. I am glad you found this information helpful as it is more important than ever to take care of ourselves. Than you for your comments.

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 

    7 weeks ago from The Caribbean

    So the answer to your title question seem to be yes. This is a dilemma. Thanks for providing this information to help us become more aware of how we may be damaging our mental health. It is our responsibility to search for alternatives.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Kenna, Thank you so much for your good wishes. Side effects should be a concern for us all.

  • Kenna McHugh profile image

    Kenna McHugh 

    7 weeks ago from Northern California

    You wrote an invaluable article, and I hope you get lots of views and impressions. I agree we are over-medicating in general. The side effects overlooked as a disease.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Linda, Thank you. I appreciate your comments.

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 

    7 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

    This is an important article, Pamela. Thank you very much for sharing the information, including the list of medications.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Kali, I fully agree that we need to be responsible for our health, which includes questioning the doctor about our medicine. I agree and appreciate your comments.

  • Kaili Bisson profile image

    Kaili Bisson 

    8 weeks ago from Canada

    Wow Pamela, this is a great article. It is truly frightening to think that things that are prescribed to help us can actually do such harm. We all need to take responsibility for our health and not just readily accept a prescription from the doctor without really understanding the possible side effects.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi again Robert, You bring up a good point. First, I think there is a genetic problem, so if a parent has dementia or Alzheimer's disease you are at least somewhat prone to have the same problem.

    I do think failing health may contribute but it may be due to the number of medications. So, if you are taking one of those listed, or maybe the person is on a lot of pain medicine, sleeping pills or maybe they drink too much alcohol. I watched my mother who was on one of the medications listed and she had very serious congestive heart failure. She died at 95 years old with no dementia. I wish I had all the answers for you.

    I don't think we have all the answers yet about dementia.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Lora, I am glad you found this article beneficial, and when I happen to read about one of these drugs causing dementia I knew I needed to write about this important issue. Thank you so much for your comments.

  • Robert Sacchi profile image

    Robert Sacchi 

    8 weeks ago

    Thank you. You bring up another interesting issue. It could be a chicken or egg argument. People often have multiple health issues as they age. This leads to more medications. Do the medication cause the dementia or does the person have general health deterioration that eventually includes dementia and the drugs aren't the root cause of the dementia?

  • Lora Hollings profile image

    Lora Hollings 

    8 weeks ago

    This is a very informative and beneficial article on a class of drugs which may lead to dementia and cautions us on taking them and asking our health providers if there are substitutes which are less harmful. Your article also alerts us to the number of drugs that we are taking as a possible factor in the development of dementia. An excellent article with very important information that we can all benefit from! Pamela, thank you for such an enlightening article.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Robert, I know Cyclopentolate is used to dilate eyes before an eye exam. I do not know if it is the only type of medication used to dilate eyes. I think the chemical structure is similar to the other drugs as I do not think an eye medication used for an annual exam can cause dementia.

    I read that using one of the medicines daily for 3 years might cause dementia, so regular usage seems to be a factor. I think the message is to use medication as little as possible because of the side effects of various kinds can occur, even if it is just a dry mouth it is annoying, although dementia is certainly more serious. Thank you for your comments, and if you want me to try and check other medications let me know. Thanks, Robert.

  • Robert Sacchi profile image

    Robert Sacchi 

    8 weeks ago

    Good information. The medications you mention for eye exams. Are these for typical eye exams or something specific?

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Ruby, I believe time helps definitely eases grief, but we never stop missing our loved ones. I am sorry you went through that experience. I very much appreciate your comments.

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Richert 

    8 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

    This is a very informative article. After losing my son, I went to my Doctor and was badly depressed, he prescribed an antidepressant, I took one and could hardly get off the couch. I didn't take another one. I found that time is a healer and of course, the hope of seeing him again helped me to cope. Thank you for always sharing useful info.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Lori, I understand your concern for your friend as she doesn't sound like she is too healthy overall. Back surgery often takes about 8 hours, which is a long time to be under anesthesia. The sugar isn't doing her any good either. I hope she will be okay, and I understand you can't know for sure about her medications.

    Thank you for sharing your concerns about a friend and her numerous medications as that is a valid reason for concern. All we can do is pray for family and friends. Thanks, Lori.

  • lambservant profile image

    Lori Colbo 

    8 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

    I have a friend who just turned sixty. I saw her medication list the other day and it filled up an entire sheet of paper. She had back surgery a couple of months ago and acted strangely afterward. I thought it was probably due to the anesthesia and or the pain meds. I was really worried about her. She is doing fine now as far as recuperation but I worry her well being with all the medication she takes. She eats tons of sugar as well and her over all health is not so good. She has numerous ailments. I think if she got off a lot of that stuff, stopped eating so much sugar, she might have a better quality of life. However, I am not a doctor so I can't say with certainty she shouldn't be taking those meds.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Linda, I do think anesthesia for major surgery does affect us. I know after my last experience I am afraid to have another surgery. I am sorry to hear your sister was affected, even being in your 80s should not necessarily mean a mental decline other than some forgetfulness.

    I appreciate you sharing your thoughts about dementia and medications, which I also think are probably prescribed too frequently in the USA. Thank you Linda.

  • Carb Diva profile image

    Linda Lum 

    8 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

    Pamela, this is such an important topic, especially since people (I think especially here in the U.S.) are on so many medications. My mother was showing some signs of dementia when she hit 80. Not alarming at her age, but after she had emergency surgery for bleeding ulcers her cognitive abilities took a drastic plunge and she never recovered. I have noticed that my older sister (she now in her early 80's) is not as lucid as she once was ever since her knee replacement surgery 2 years ago. It's frightening to me.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Eric, I had such a bad reaction to that last anesthesia I had that I do not want any more surgery. I think your mother had a valid concern for sure.

    As to your memory loss, I laughed out loud. Meeting new people keeps life interesting Eric!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Peggy, I think different people react differently to medicine, and as you said, they all have side effects. It is good to be aware of possible problems. I appreciate your comments.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    8 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Pamela something of interest maybe that my mom really was worried about in later coherent years was undergoing a general anesthesia. And sure enough you could tell a decline after her last two.

    Oh by the way I like my memory loss. I meet new people everyday '-)

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    8 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

    It is sad that the medications prescribed by doctors can lead to dementia as well as other problems. If you listen to ads for meds on tv, they all have side effects. Best to avoid them unless absolutely necessary. Thanks for bringing awareness to this problem.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Eric, Taking one of those meds for a short time is not a big deal. I was surprised by some of the medications on the list also. It is good to have a doctor that you know has your best interests at heart.

    If you have no dementia signs now, I think you are home free. We are all a bit forgetful as we age, so that doesn't count. I appreciate your thanks and all of your comments. Take care and have a good week.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 

    8 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    I took one on the list for a bit. Just checked my records and it was for a very short time. This is just a great article filled with good stuff. I was somewhat amazed at the relationship between so many gastrointestinal meds and dementia. Very interesting.

    I always check these things out with my very good doctor and we have avoided some on the list. Good for him.

    I have been looking into the issue of what causes it and what prevents it. I actually think we focus a little too much on causes.

    Thank you for this.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Bill, I do not think taking an occasional pill will hurt you. It is scary to even think a medication taken daily over years, prescribed by your doctor might cause dementia. I am glad you found this article interesting, and I appreciate your comments.

  • bdegiulio profile image

    Bill De Giulio 

    8 weeks ago from Massachusetts

    Hi Pam. Interesting read. I occasionally will take , but only when needed. Kind of scary that all of these meds have a link to dementia. Thank you for sharing.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Bill, Thank you so much for your praise. I am glad you like my articles, as I do yours.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    8 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

    It is always a fascinating learning experience to read one of your article. This was no exception, Pamela!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Lorna, It sounds like your father was definitely over medicated. His DNA may have caused dementia, particularly if one of his parents were diagnosed with dementia. I think there are a lot of elements in our lives that may cause dementia as well.

    I appreciate your kind comments, Lorna.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Cynthia, Some people just don't get dementia despite being on a lot of medicine. I guess dementia or Alzheimer's disease is partly due to your DNA. Do not judge yourself for your opinion of the pharmacist. You had no way to know until the diagnosis.

    I hear much more about dementia today also. Thank you for sharing your experience with your family.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Lori, I take a lot of medicine also, but none on the list. I think you m. brought up a very good point as hearing loss can be a huge problem for older people. My mother wore hearing aids and my husband needs to wear them. LOL :)

    I appreciate all of your comments.

  • Lorna Lamon profile image

    Lorna Lamon 

    8 weeks ago

    Hi Pamela, I can certainly see why taking a number of medications would have such adverse effects. I remember when I was studying medicine taking part in a survey regarding the long term effects of various medications. There were quite a few on your list. However, my Dad had never taken any form of medication apart from the odd headache tablet and when he was diagnosed with dementia he was put on a cocktail of 9 medications which turned him into a zombie. This is a really informative article full of valuable information.

  • techygran profile image

    Cynthia 

    8 weeks ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

    Thank you for this article, Pamela. When i was a small-town kid I didn't know anyone with dementia. My grandfathers both were fitted for pacemakers but i don"t believe they were on meds (one was an over-the-counter meds guy but not sure if Milk of Magnesia figured on this study). My grandmothers were of sound mind into their 80s. My mother had mild dementia and i think my father eas headed that way, as a longtime alcoholic when he passed away at 85.

    I certainly have seen an escalation in the numbers of people I know who had, or have, dementia. I am not shocked that pharmaceuticals have been implicated.

    An acquaintance-- a retired pharmacist-- has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. I am ashamed to report that i just thought she was a little snobby and eccentric.

  • lambservant profile image

    Lori Colbo 

    8 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

    Pamela, thank you so much for writing this. The information was very important. I take one of those drugs in a small amount and take 4 other medications not on the list. You mentioned sleep deprivation, which is a huge problem for me. At my yearly check up I took a little memory test and it was fine.

    There is one thing I learned a few years ago when I attended a little talk on hearing loss. The speaker was almost completely deaf all of her life until a few years ago when she got a cochlear implant. One thing she told us is when you suspect someone has dementia, get them hearing test first as many times hearing loss will create problems that seem to be dementia. But if you have hearing loss, you don't respond to people and it appears the person is withdrawn.

    I enjoy reading your medical articles.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Patricia, Your parents are probably a prime example of too many medications. I am on too much medicine, but I am not sure if there is something I can stop taking and still have a good quality of life. As we age it is a difficult decision. I hope you are ding okay. Your comments are appreciated.

    Angels are always appreciated God bless you, Patricia.

  • pstraubie48 profile image

    Patricia Scott 

    8 weeks ago from sunny Florida

    This is very informative. I have family members who taken far too many meds in my humble opinion. Reading this it is definitively reason for some concern. My father died at the ripe old age of 93 and had taken few meds over his lifetime and had no dementia. My Mother on the other hand had been on numerous meds and did have mild dementia----uncertain if any of the meds listed in your article were among those she took. Thank you for sharing Pamela. Angels headed your way this evening ps

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Liz, Yes, I should put the UK in my article to be clear. They did the massive research on patients on these drugs, plus looking at others who were not on the drugs. It is very helpful to know the side effects of the medications. Thank you so much for your comments.

  • Eurofile profile image

    Liz Westwood 

    8 weeks ago from UK

    I was interested to see yoir reference to research done by the University of Nottingham. I presume you mean the one in the UK. It is one of the leading medical schools in the UK. Any measures which can be taken, such as changing medication, to prevent the risk of developing dementia, are very helpful.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Flourish, I know so many people on what is probably too much medication. When the doctor prescribes a medication they just do what they are told. It is good to be aware of the side effects. I appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Yves, I am glad you found this article informative, and I am glad you are not taking any of those medications. Thank you for your comments.

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 

    8 weeks ago from USA

    This is very valuable information. The number of medications that people are on, particularly as they age, can be startling. Medications cause certain side effects then other meds are prescribed to counteract those side effects, and it can be a vicious cycle with extremely deleterious effects on health and general well being.

  • savvydating profile image

    Yves 

    8 weeks ago

    Yikes! Looks like I'm safe so far, except I need to exercise more. But I don't have the need for any of those drugs, thank goodness. I just hope I turn out like my grandmother. She was sharp as a tack until the day she died. But one still has to be cognizant of information, such as what you have provided here. Interesting article, for sure!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Shannon, I agree wholeheartedly that people need to be aware. My mother was on one of those medications, and I don't she had dementia, but she quit calling family and friends. She knew all of us but just didn't want to socialize much. I don't know if that was a reaction to the drug.

    I am glad your friend got a second opinion. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • shanmarie profile image

    Shannon Henry 

    8 weeks ago from Texas

    There's a woman who is like my husband's grandma. A family friend since his great-grandpa was alive. Several years ago, after her husband began taking medications prescribed by the VA he appeared to have worsening signs of dementia. She finally took him for a second opinion somewhere where they pulled him off several, if not all, of the prescriptions. His mind returned to full capacity until he died. It's good to see information like this circulating. People need to be aware of dementia as a possible side effect of medications.

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